Sunday, January 31, 2010

Coffee Cupping

Yesterday the four of us went to this for Laurel's birthday, and we're all glad we did! The roaster of Landgrove Coffees was here in Lewiston at a coffee shop downtown called La Boheme. He was a bearded man of average height wearing a button-up flannel shirt and a Clint Kyles personality, personable, happy to answer questions, and very interesting to listen to. I think the wine makers we know, beer makers, and the coffee guys have more in common than I might have thought. The process of carefully tending the plant, vine, et al, until it has reached a certain readiness or ripeness; and then going thru the stages that it takes to have a good end product. Different beans from different countries are not the same color or size or the same flavor. How and where it is grown really effects the taste as well as what you do during the roasting stage.
We were served four different coffees at a time, one scoop of ground coffee each, mostly Ethiopians. We smelled it, we looked at, then John (the roaster) poured hot water over the grounds and we steeped the coffee. Next we looked at it and smelled it some more, broke the grounds up on the surface, and lastly slurped the coffee. We had to try to describe it by smelling it, then see what we might add to that description once the coffee was tasted. The first coffee was most memorable, I think, everybody went on about the smell, color, and taste of that one. It was a fresh-ground Ethiopian. The second was a stale version of the first coffee roasted in June. The grounds did not form a capon the top and nothing about that coffee was perky, but very flat. The third was a dry-roast Ethiopian which apparently is hard to get, seems like that's the one with hints of blueberries, very different but tasty. Also we tried a Brazilian, another Ethiopian, I believe, and then a blend of the two. Lastly, we tried an Indian coffee which apparently is not a popular flavor. I didn't think it was as bad as described. I feel more educated now in my coffees and more prepared for the NW!

Laurel's birthday dinner

Cilantro-Chipotle Rockfish
Tossed Salad with a yogurt garlic dressing
Asparagus tossed in butter and fresh ginger
Red bell peppers stuffed with dirty rice
Carrot and rutabaga soup
Honey-glazed broiled pineapple (this was a hit, we're having some more today)

Best of all it tasted delicious, was full of flavor, and was all on the Cleanse!

Last Day of the Cleanse!

We have made it to the last day...without too much cheating. Last weekend Drew and I ate Thai, not all included on this diet. The rest of the day I felt weird. I felt like I had eaten boiled sugar to begin with and my body was working hard to process it all. It tasted so sweet to me, although it could very well have been some other ingredients my body wasn't used to. My stomach wasn't upset or rejecting what I had eaten, but I could feel the blood pulsing to different parts of my body trying to use and store that sugar. I have learned you are what you eat. If you eat high fat or high cholesterol foods your body will show the signs of it. But what I found weird was it affected my mood. That was part of the feeling weird, I was in a weird mood. I did not like it and will probably never try that again. So last night going out with a friend I ordered the balsamic chicken salad and it treated me great.

Lesson learned, treat your body better. A Jew at the temple could not just offer any sacrifice, it had to be an an acceptable sacrifice with a pleasing aroma. Also it was not a sacrifice sprayed with MSG, chemicals, and boiled in sugar. And with this temple I do not want to just allow anything to enter it anymore. Drew and I are definitely seeing the need for more veggies and simpler/healthier eating in our daily meals, I hope this metamorphosis lasts. Another of my goals is to have a good foundation for a healthy pregnancy. I do not know when that might be, but I want to be healthy now in: what I eat, the minerals and vitamins that I take, and the exercise I plan on doing more of. All to build up my body, instead of fight for mediocre.

We did have a martini and some wine for Laurel's birthday Friday (menu to come), and wine with dinner last night, but we are proud of ourselves for making it so far and not cheating in any other areas (except for the occasional bite of chocolate the past few days ;)
I feel better!! Better than I did 3 weeks ago and better than I did 3 months ago. I don't feel heavy, tired, bloated, and since I feel better my mood has been better. I feel like my body is running smoothly and loving it! I get a lot of fiber, more protein than I usually eat, and way more vegetables that contain vitamins and minerals and more fiber (so u know what that helps ya do) to name a few benefits. I had a rough start, but I knew it would be worth, so I'm glad we stuck to it.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Day 16: Almost there

Hard to believe we are almost done with our 21 day program. Drew and I are over our colds and I'm starting to feel great; which is really good because Fen is a stubborn little puppy requiring a lot of attention. Took him out this morning to go the bathroom and it was raining so he ran inside with wet feet, pooped in the front yard, then jumped and scratched at the front to because he wasn't let in. So before leaving this house we will be painting the front door, cleaning the doors as well as floors. Putting him outside didn't work, so I put him in the fence around back where he would just get rained on, so I put him on the gated side of the front porch which just gives him another door to scratch up. So we had to resort to the kennel where he just yapped and whined about his confinement. I'm wondering if this will last all day, like having a kid in some ways, but in others, not at all. Drew doesn't have much work today either so we are reading together and trying to decide what to do in this wet day. I'm ready for a steak and Drew wants a burrito. We are also missing our wine and cheese nights, but just a few more days and we are allowed again.

Last night was my first music/voice lesson. I'm doing it in a group of 8 other ladies with Allie Bradley as our teacher. She's a friend I had at NSA who has been musical her whole life and has been giving lessons for a while. I'm excited about learning, I think we'll all have fun together. I'm trying to think of how I'll practice. :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day 11: "You can add protein today"

Actually we already did. Made blackened fish tacos last night using lettuce as wraps instead of tortillas. Ings. were the fish, cabbage salsa, reg. salsa, cilantro, avocado, homemade vinaigrette, yummy. I'd eat that anytime. We have a good ol' time waking up, deciding what to put into our morning shakes, downing a handful of pills, and discussing how we feel thus far. We freely discuss whether we've had our BM for the day and how we slept. (Doesn't that sound like fun?) We are almost done with our second out of the three week program, and I really don't mind this gig anymore. I feel good after a dinner of vegetables, instead of heavy and blah, asking myself "Why did I eat that?" I feel that I'm doing myself a favor. Not that we can maintain a vegetarian lifestyle, we do not wish that, but it is good to cleanse ourselves and get into the habit of eating more vegetables. I have a new-found respect for the greens, reds, and oranges. For lunch yesterday I made a vegetable marinade, put it on a bed of greens with oranges around that, it was not only delicious but very colorful. God made beautiful things for us to eat and I'm appreciating that more and more, I like that. I also like that I being made to come up with creative veg. dishes, expanding my tastes and thinking. Beets, broccoli, lentil sprouts, I now love sliced carrots for a sweet snack. I had a hankering for ice cream last night so I ate some frozen blueberries and a frozen strawberry slightly thawed, tasted like strawberry ice cream.

I'm pretty much over this cold, probably because Drew decided to try it out for a bit, ugh. Said he really didn't sleep last night. We really are enjoying this pup we got, he's cuddly and spirited, but not a yapper. Took Fenrir and Bella for a walk yesterday, the sun was so inviting. Tried teaching him to like the leash, walks are fun, and to come when called. He's proved himself rather smart and a fast learner. Now time for another walk.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Week 1: Complete! Yeah

Although this is my first go at it, I believe week 1 to be the hardest week of the Purification Program, and we have conquered it! I would not let it conquer me, and now I am getting used to taking the Cleanse pills, and have more energy, and am ready to incorporate Green Food into the plan. We also get to start eating animal proteins again, eggs, fish, meats... mmm. That we've missed (especially Drew). It's becoming more of a habit to eat this way, which has been really good for us. I'm learning to cook creative dishes using only vegetables and reading labels on sauces before using them, as well as cutting out the sugar. I feel this week to be better. My nose has quit running all the time, I'm getting regular adjustments, and eating all the veggies I can eat, and I plan on feeling great! I already have seen an increase in my energy today since I've been able to stomach all 21 pills for the day.

Tonight I chopped up a whole bunch of veggies such as: red and green peppers, gr. onion, broccoli, carrots, celery, and marinaded it in a lemon/olive oil, cayenne dressing I whipped up. Then sauted Brussels sprouts in butter with baked garlic, turned out pretty yummy, if I do say so myself.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Day 5: Cough, cough

Well today was a fun Friday. Besides being sick that is, got to rest most of the day and Drew got done with work early so we got to hang out AND he made lunch! He was so sweet to stay home and take care of me all day. Good to take care of his wife. Glenn said I shouldn't push the pills until I'm feeling better. Right now I'm feeling better than I have been, so I'm thinking about taking some before bed and sleeping on it. Glenn brought me some white daisies, jalapenos, and ginger, and it was so nice of him. Had the latter in lunch while gazing at daisies and Drew, it was a good day. Still coughing though which is a drag. But I'm getting lots of vits and minerals through all these vegetables as well as some easily digestible whey protein, so I'm sure I'll be feeling great in no time.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Day 3 & 4: nausea or... Hmmm

Apparently there is something not agreeing with my system in those Cleanse pills. Was sick all morning again yesterday. Eating out of the cooler worked well for us though, and salads at Subway. Drew's starting to feel tired and drug down. Trying to detoxify ourselves isn't the cake-walk (why is it called that anyway? cakes don't walk) we thought it could be, but it we are only in the first and presumably the hardest week. I want to do this Purification program and let it do its stuff, but I also don't like being nauseated. Guess it's good prep for pregnancy, right, sisters? Woke up this morning with a sore throat and feelings of a head cold, went for a walk 'cause the sun decided to show it's blushing cheeks--it's been a bit shy of late. Also made sure I ate some jalapeƱos in my lunch to, as Dad would say, "cure what ails ya." I think I need to go eat some more. I added some jalapeƱos to the cabbage salsa Laurel made, she took one bite of that and whooped, face pinking up a bit. I'm proud of Drew, he eats whatever I hand him and sometimes will add more heat! That's my boy! Maybe I could cleanse myself through pepper consumption and leave the pills to the more stable. I also wonder how many trillions+ pictures there are of the Grand Canyon.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Day 2: Cleansing Ourselves

After throwing up everything consumed yesterday, I awoke this morning feeling "spent" as Glenn put it. Got rid of the nausea though. Lazed around the house most of the day, and am feeling considerably better. Wanted to fall asleep in my warm bath in the later afternoon. Tomorrow Drew and I will be driving back over to Kennewick again. So I will be cutting carrots and celery, packing the cooler with juice, shake stuff, pills, and the like. Guess we'll be eating drive-around instead of drive-thru as we meander around town. Heads feeling much clearer and I haven't wanted to puke all day, haven't taken any of the cleanse pills today either. Glenn thought I should give my body a rest, maybe I'll take some before bed. Well, that's the long and short of it. Chinese food sounds good, as does some the items I just saw on the Wal-Mart shelves, but we do press on, carrot stick in hand.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Day 1: Purification Program

Drew and I wanted to cleanse ourselves, been a while since the last shower. That's what they do up here to keep warm. Ok, ok, internal cleanse. Asked Glenn about it, sounded like a kicker, said they didn't want to miss out, and now we're all on the diet of carrot/beet juice protein shakes. The fun part is u can make them different every time; add some berries, o.j., celery, etc. to the SP Complete with Whey and Fiber. Turns out pretty good, and then with this concoction you need to go ahead and take those 7 pills (or put them in the shake) to open up the fat cells and release fat and toxins from your body. Exercise is also a must because it eliminates waste and helps with just about everything: burning fat, sweating... but don't over do it. First 7 days are just this shake and veggie/fruit diet, day 8 we will start eating some proteins and take Green Food. There's a brief overview of the regimen. Now, my body will react different than anyone else's, because I am me and you are not, so don't hold my reactions too close to your heart.

I have been looking forward to this cleanse, so I hopped out of bed when the lark was on the wing and the snail on the thorn, had my shake and pills, and was ready to go. About 11:30 I started to feel unfocused and tired. I probably just needed to eat, but even after lunch I was feeling a bit wasted. At 4:40 I still want to take a nap, also feel bloated, and keep burping those pills. My fingers are trying to ignore my brain right now. I could fall asleep, my stomach feels slightly unsettled, and I just want to curl up in a ball and let it run its course. But I can't let it! Things must be done! I just think of it as my body trying to rid itself of toxins, since that's the case, can't blame it for felling poisoned. And of course I want to eat everything under the sun, chocolate (which would be melted under the sun), soup, cheese, and much more. I plan on these cravings going away in a few days though.

Today was shopping day with Laurel. She was a busy bee: started making shakes for everybody this morning, juiced a whole bunch of carrots, and then we ran around buying up the produce of the town (good thing nobody else wanted any). Costco was the place to go: Brussels sprouts, cabbage, apples, lettuces, celery, you name it, we got it. Mmmm, good stuff, organic, and tasty! We chopped carrots for a snack, Laurel will make cabbage salsa, and lentils are for dinner, probably with a BIG salad.

G&L seem to be just fine and Drew says he's feeling great and has plenty of energy, so that's good. I hope I can get over this icky feeling and enjoy the ride. Toodle-pip.